Today's Thursday thoughts are about toddler quiet toys. Our family just got back from a cross country plane trip and I spent a few weeks before our trip finding new quiet toys keep Amelia entertained on the flights. I thought other people might benefit from our learning experience in case you need to fly with a toddler or need to keep a toddler quiet during church or in a waiting room or anywhere that running around and making noise isn't an option.
Here are the things we brought that worked well for us with a 16 month old:
Coloring books and triangular crayons (so they don't roll off the tray)
This toddler activity set by Lauri. Amelia loves the simple puzzles and stacking together those pegs. She was a little young for this so I imagine it would work well for older toddlers.
New books - especially lift-the-flap books like this one or Where's Spot.
Textured toys, especially new ones or ones he/she doesn't see very often. Those mesh bags that a lot of toys come in are great to store little toys. Amelia loves getting the toys in and out of the bag and the mesh makes the difficulty level just enough that it is interesting and not frustrating.
This isn't a separate toy, but one thing that worked well for us was organizing things in their own zipper bags. Pencil cases were on clearance at Walmart so I bought a bunch and used one for crayons, one for new toys, one for stickers, etc. The zipper case itself is a toy because Amelia loved opening and closing the zipper.
Photo albums. Amelia loves looking at pictures of herself and her family. Mostly of herself. Bonus that she can cover them in stickers and move those stickers around easily.
Snacks. Lots and lots of snacks. And suckers for the landing/takeoff to help with ear pressure.
Amelia is a little young to use this by herself, but this stringing activity toy by Alex toys was great. She loved making the animal noises as we put each piece on the string. This will be great as she gets older, too.
I saw this activity online somewhere and thought it was a great idea. Amelia loves putting things in containers, and smooshing the pom poms through holes I cut in a clean butter container was very satisfying for her. And me, I have to admit.
Stickers. Stickers, stickers and more stickers. On paper, on clothing, on our faces - nothing beats a sheet of stickers.
These things did not work so well for us:
This Melissa and Doug Hide and Seek game. I think it will be a great home toy, but as far as quiet time goes, it's not good. Amelia learned quickly that the wood doors make a satisfyingly loud noise if you slam them. So she did. Over and over.
I thought since music calms Amelia at home that playing some for her over headphones would work great. Little did I think about the challenges of keeping a headset on a wiggly toddler.
This game is similar to the pom pom game in that you push pipe cleaners through holes in an empty container's lid. Amelia loved this for a few pipe cleaners before she demanded the top off so she could put them all in at once. I admire her efficiency but it ruined the game because the pipe cleaners got bent and it was hard for her to get them in and out. Maybe once she gets older this will work better.
Anyone else have toys that work/worked great for them with a toddler?